What is the role of fate in the divinatory arts? I like to think that fate is the opportunity, but what you do with it is free will. To me, this means that although some things will be “fated” to occur, you have free will to skip the opportunity. Usually that comes with a price though.
When you consider that an Astrological chart is a “photograph” of the night sky at the moment of a person’s birth, you can see that some things are fated to occur. If I look at a baby’s chart at their moment of birth, I can tell you a lot about them. If one or more of the parents will be absent. If they will be athletic or prone to injury. If love will be an issue. If they will suffer from ADHD and learning disabilities. And so on. This can also be told in retrospect, as when obtaining an Astrological consultation, which is helpful in learning to cope with issues.
Consider that two people can be born into the same family and can have two entirely different experiences of that family. I’ve seen this often in siblings. One sibling may have a terrible childhood and the other might have experienced it as a mere inconvenience. They may be treated differently by the parents, but they also may be more or less resilient than the other. One may succumb to drugs and addiction, while the other may live a meaningful and productive life. Of course, there are many factors at play, but even a difficult childhood may be a lesson for the soul. How the soul handles the lesson will determine if the lesson will come again in a more apparent form. Or in a future lifetime. Because the Universe will give us our lessons over and over again until we actually learn and grow from them.
So you can say that both siblings had a similar fate, but had different soul lessons and different levels of resiliency that determined how they handled their fate. Fate provided the opportunity for growth, but free will determined how they would use the opportunity.
The willingness to face our lessons head on makes a big difference in how smooth our live paths run. Constantly ignoring or even fighting our fated lessons is similar to a salmon swimming upstream. It’s much easier to go with the flow of the stream and to navigate the rocks and branches that fall into our path than it is to constantly swim in opposition to the current. It’s exhausting.
What role does fate play in the Tarot (or Runes, or any method of divination)? My favorite analogy is that when you lay down a spread of cards for a client, the cards are like a stacked row of dominoes. They reflect how the events will play out at the time of the reading. Remove one domino and they will fall in a different pattern. Removing the domino is analogous to taking a different path through the issue through the use of our free will. Having a Tarot reading can help you to consider other options and possibilities in whatever you are facing.
So, I don’t believe that everything is etched in stone. Possible paths are there but we always have the free will to do as we want. I haven’t quite decided if that’s a good thing or not <winks>.